Like my indigenous Antillean ancestors saw our worlds flipped at night, black sea becoming sky, cosmos covered in sea-creature constellations, I too learned to see the inverse. To draw, paint, render light. Pull light from darkness as we are forced to do daily as children of conquest, colonialism.
...this year’s remembrance became sinister ceremony. Cast us back to that hurricane life of scarcity, lost lives, lost communities./ ...el recuerdo de este año se convirtió en una siniestra ceremonia de remembranza. Regresamos a esa vida de huracanada, de escasez, de vidas, comunidades perdidas.
To live liberation when the colonizers have long been experts at inflicting death and we the colonized have long been experts in dying. Embodying the archipelago is taking into our bodies and becoming the very transcendent expanse that this network of islands, water and wisdom have long been…. Embodying the archipelago, I become ungovernable, autonomous in my own essence.
How do I, with two children, navigate these two realities: being forced to vaccinate one before we are ready, yet nervous sending my youngest to school unvaccinated? Neither option generated confidence in me, but there is a beauty to options, and a despair in debating options that don’t exist because they are being decided for you, either by your parents, or the government.
I started this piece as a tribute to the luminescent brothers whose lives were stolen in Minnesota: Philando Castile and George Floyd. It has morphed into a reflection on the battle for black lives and black breaths, that I've witnessed since childhood, and on one's political formation within the colonized communities of the US empire... crumbling.
May we release the need to measure ourselves by what we receive externally. May we become self-sufficient galaxies of love and nurturing before being allowed to reintegrate back into our communities for collective decolonizing and healing.
As a liberation practitioner, making the impossible possible is my profession. I desire a sanctuary on red earth of lush greenery./ Como practicante de la liberación, hacer posible lo imposible es mi profesión. Deseo un santuario en suelo rojo de abundantes arboledas.
It is more profitable to keep people dependent on medications to suppress symptoms of illness than it is to heal them. Like battling illness, storm prep is big business. Home insurance industry is booming. The hiker/ back packer business went booming with Puerto Ricans stocking up on water filters, freeze-dried fruit, protein bars and solar supplies. Gasoline business is booming with all the generators we are running. Bottled water has become the hottest commodity. It is not in the best interest of the powers that be to address the climate change that has us living through these threats.
If to survive is to overturn genocide then living fully, authentically, abundantly, fearlessly, boldly, truthfully and joyfully is the most radical expression of revolution that we can wage on this planet. If conquest and the resulting lovelessness are the source of our oppression, then loving ourselves back to healing and wholeness must be our greatest purpose here./ Si sobrevivir es resistir al genocidio entonces vivir completamente, auténticamente, abundantemente, sin miedo, audazmente, verdaderamente y alegremente es la mayor forma de revolución radical que podemos hacer en este planeta.
She spreads me whole as a quilt beneath the sun like the sands at her shore. I cannot lay down my burdens, neither there nor at the riverside. Though heavy, there within lie the keys to my liberation./
No puedo dejar mi carga ni ahí, ni en las orillas de sus ríos. Aun siendo muy pesada la carga, dentro de ella están las llaves de mi liberación, pues cargo con ella.
Not knowing, not honoring our history is hella dangerous territory. It leaves us celebrating the heroes and tenets of our colonizers, while stomping on the graves of our own. It is not dollars we are needing, but dignity.
It is time to focus on the colonial classroom, the empire’s primary battleground. The threat goes beyond school closures. It includes the continued attack on the one public university system in Puerto Rico. It is embodied by a white North American secretary of education with an inflated salary, while her school children constituents are sacrificed at the austerity table of odious debt. It resounds in the arresting, pepper spraying and tear gassing of people protesting injustices like these. Ultimately the colonial battle is waged daily on the minds and on the psyches of the colonized, with schools cunningly crafted for the conformity and conditioning of the colonial subject.
I know emotional labor. Though we perfect it, it is not a trait exclusive to women, nor do all women possess the capacity for it. I watched my brother die from fucking emotional labor! I have watched men mother more effectively than some women. If we are to eradicate patriarchy, we must stop appropriating and wielding patriarchal weapons in our fight.